Any turn-2 victory is enough to catch players’ eyes in Magic: The Gathering’s Modern format. The format known for stupidly easy victories, “bent but not broken” rules, and playing some of the most powerful cards printed since 2008 is always on the lookout for new additions to its arsenal.
Equally, it is also always on the lookout in its past. One of the more fascinating things about Modern is how a card from a new set can easily transform old cards that were once considered useless into all-stars.
The upcoming coming Core 2020 set has one such card that promises to drop the hammer on the format with an easy turn-2 victory!
Our new card is an Equipment, of which very few are actually used in Modern. What makes this one so special? Well, take a look!
Equipment that provides a crushing +10/+10 to any creature that only costs 1 mana! Naturally, the downside of this card is that it costs 8 mana to equip it to a creature, which means you won’t be able to attach it until much later in the game, right?
WRONG! This is Modern, and in Modern, we don’t shrug our shoulders and look away! We look for ways to get around that equip cost! And eagle-eyed Magic players already have found one.
For just a single mana, this allows a player to not only skip the expensive equipment cost but also bring the Hammer to the battlefield at instant speed! Sigarda’s Aid has never been a hit outside of an afterthought in Commander and other casual formats, but thanks to Colossus Hammer, this card has skyrocketed from being a $.50 card to well over $6.
And the combo hasn’t even been thoroughly explored yet. If proven to have legitimate legs, this could be a brand new build-around we’re seeing being born right before our very eyes.
But even with Sigarda’s Aid, that’s still only 10 damage possible if attached to a 1-drop creature, which is only half of what’s required to win the game. Is there any creature out there that can effectively use double-strike when it attacks on turn-2?
Busting into the uncommons of Zendikar, known and well-loved as one of the fastest and most aggressive expansion sets in the game’s history, we have Kor Duelist. The Kor are a sweet race of pure white humanoids who rely heavily on stonework and their love of equipment. In this card, we summon a mere 1/1 to the battlefield, and if equiped with the Colossus Hammer on turn-2… boom! Double Strike lands an easy 22 damage, ending the game on this spot!
Playing the Combo
This combo is so smooth, it practically plays itself out.
- Turn-1, play Kor Duelist.
- Turn-2, play Sigarda’s Aid before combat
- Attack with your Kor Duelist.
- After blockers are declared but before damage is dealt, play your Colossus Hammer at instant speed.
- Attach Colossus Hammer to Kor Duelist.
- 22 combat damage!
Can’t lose at that point unless opponent has an instant kill card in their hand.
Building Around the Combo
Now… the hard part. We need to actually build around this combo. Since it requires three cards and at least two lands in your opening hand, the chances of pulling it off at full potential are not that high. When it works, it works. when it doesn’t, you need to build your deck around making it work!
Naturally, we need a playset of all three cards, increasing our chances of getting to it.
From there, we need ways to dig for equipment in our deck with the help of “tutor” cards and backup creatures to attach it to. Stoneforge Mystic is banned in Modern, so that is a dead end.
Instead, we’ll go ahead with this Equipment tutor, which easily puts the Colossus Hammer into our hand to play. Shadows Over Innistrad remains, I think an underrated set, and white’s focus on Equipment cards makes it a prime place to dig for ideas.
And a nice little bear that can draw us cards and reduce the attachment cost of Colossus Hammer to zero. With the inclusion of this, I see our deck heading into Affinity mode though, which means we have a few easy options.
Our friend from Affinity Hardened Scales is an obvious inclusion. Easy ramp, easy inclusion. Colossus Hammer, with its single mana casting cost, helps ensure the consistency of this card.
Free is free, and we get two uses out of this classic. It gives us an extra target for Colossus Hammer to be attached to, though remember that it loses flying when that happens, and it helps us turn on Mox Opal very quickly.
Fodder for Mox Opal, but also lets us get back Colossus Hammer if it gets destroyed somehow.
A staple in any White Modern deck. Helps keep the big, scary nasties away while we set ourselves up.
Oh yeah! We’re doing it! Even though it was one of the most destructive cards of its Standard cycle, Temur Battle Rage hasn’t found a home in Modern just yet. In our deck, it is likely that the opponent will have some blockers up if we take a while to get our combo running. In that case, this is both a backup plan for double strike, if needed on an Ornithopter or a Puresteel Paladin, and it also gives all creatures the important ability of trample!
Yeah, with +10/+10, I think our creature will easily trigger Temur Battle Rage’s ferocious ability.
- 4x Ornithopter
- 4x Kor Duelist
- 4x Puresteel Paladin
- 4x Path to Exile
- 4x Open the Armory
- 2x Temur Battle Rage
- 4x Sigarda’s Aid
- 4x Mox Opal
- 4x Colossus Hammer
- 4x Welding Jar
- 4x Arid Mesa
- 4x Sacred Foundry
- 4x Inspiring Vantage
- 4x Darksteel Citadel
- 6x Plains
Puresteel Paladin’s double White casting cost makes it hard to get too sloppy with our mana base, but we also want the Darksteel Citadels in their to make sure Mox Opal is up and running to give us an extra spell each turn.
Is it an effective deck? We’ll have to wait and see! Until then, look forward to more back-breaking Core 2020 combos when it releases next month.
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